The Exorcism Of Emily Rose


D: Scott Derrickson

Screen Gems/Lakeshore/Firm (Tom Rosenberg, Gary Lucchesi, Paul Harris Boardman, Tripp Vinson & Beau Flynn)

US 🇺🇸 2005

121 mins


W: Scott Derrickson & Paul Harris Boardman

DP: Tom Stern

Ed: Jeff Betancourt

Mus: Christopher Young

Laura Linney (Erin Bruner), Tom Wilkinson (Richard Moore), Campbell Scott (Ethan Thomas), Jennifer Carpenter (Emily Rose), Colm Feore (Karl Gunderson)

It would be quite forgivable to palm this off as just another rip-off of The Exorcist, but this 2005 production takes a novel approach of building a courtroom drama around its horror movie core.

Based on the true case (of Anneliese Michel) that occurred in 1970's Germany, this adaptation changes the names for dramatic license and relocates the story to present day America where an agnostic defence attorney hesitantly takes the case of Father Richard Moore, a priest accused of negligent homicide following an exorcism that resulted in the death of a teenage girl.

As the trail progresses, flashback scenes show Emily Rose's possible case of demonic possession, as well as presenting a scientific argument behind the phenomena, suggesting that schizophrenia and epilepsy were potentially to blame for the deterioration of the young girl's mental health.

It's all left quite ambiguous in the end, but the film benefits from some genuinely creepy scenes and ethereal supporting performance from Jennifer Carpenter.

The real life case (of Anneliese Michel) is far more disturbing, but as a Hollywood adaptation, this ticks the right boxes and leaves some lingering, unsettling afterthoughts.


Jennifer Carpenter in The Exorcism Of Emily Rose
Jennifer Carpenter in The Exorcism Of Emily Rose